One of the first successful female singer/songwriters in England, Lynsey de Paul (born Lynsey Rubin) had an illustrious career. Reaching her peak as a vocalist during the 1970s, she scored with such disco hits as "Sugar Me," which reached the number five slot on the British pop charts; "Won't Somebody Dance with Me," which received an Ivor Novello Award for Best Ballad of 1974; and "Rock Bottom," recorded with British vocalist Mike Moran. Between 1972 and 1977, she wrote 14 British Top 40 hits. Her songs have been covered by Nancy Sinatra, Cheryl Lynn, Heatwave, Bruce Johnston, Vera Lynn, and Shirley Bassey. In addition to serving as the themes of nine prime-time British television series, de Paul's songs have been featured in such films as The Big Sleep (the 1978 version), Side by Side, and Aces Go Places.
Inspired by her ex-boyfriend, James Coburn, de Paul changed her focus from music to acting in the '80s. She appeared in the British version of the American musical Pump Boys and Dinettes, and in the films The Starlight Ballroom and Gabrielle and the Doodleman. Increasingly active as a producer, de Paul produced three travelogues from the Caribbean for Granada Sky Broadcasting. She also hosted television shows such as Club Vegetarian, Shopper's Heaven, Eat Drink & Be Healthy, Women of Substance, The Vinyl Frontier, and many episodes of Living Room Legends, which featured home videos. She received a Royal Television Society award for Eve Strikes Back, her BBC1 documentary on self-defense for women. Known for her sharp sense of humor, de Paul was called "Looney de Small" by British humorist Spike Mulligan. On October 1, 2014, she suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage and died later that day at the age of 64. ~ Craig Harris